Awakening to languages
Several European projects have enabled awakening to languages movements to develop on a broader scale, defining it as follows: “awakening to language is used to describe approaches in which some of the learning activities are concerned with languages which the school generally does not intend to teach.” This does not mean that the approach is concerned just with such languages. The approach concerns the language(s) of education and any other language which is in the process of being learnt. But it is not limited to these “learnt” languages, and integrates all sorts of other linguistic varieties – from the environment, from families… and from all over the world, without exclusion of any kind... Because of the number of languages on which learners work – very often, several dozen – awakening to languages may seem to be the most extreme form of pluralistic approach. It was designed principally as a way of introducing schoolchildren to linguistic diversity (and the diversity of their own languages) at the beginning of school education, as a vector of fuller recognition of the languages “brought” by children with other home languages, as a kind of preparatory course developed at primary schools, but it can also be promoted as a support to language learning throughout the learners’ school career.
L’Eveil aux langues (Awakening to languages) as it has been developed specifically in the Evlang and Jaling programmes is explicitly linked to the Language Awareness movement initiated by E. Hawkins in the 1980s in the United Kingdom. However, the éveil aux langues nowadays is to be seen as a sub-category of the Language Awareness approach, which is also generating research which is more psycho-linguistic than pedagogic and which does not necessarily involve confronting the learner with a number of languages. For this reason those promoting éveil aux langues prefer to use another term in English – Awakening to languages – to describe this approach.
Awakening to languages today - a Powerpoint by Michel Candelier and Ildikó Lörincz (6th EDiLiC Conference, Györ, July 2016)